The Home Office has determined that gabapentin and pregabalin (together known as gabapentinoids) will be reclassified as Class C, Schedule 3 controlled drugs in April 2019.
What this means is that pharmacies will only be able to accept physically written prescriptions. As White Pharmacy’s procedures rely on electronic prescribing, we will no longer be able to supply gabapentinoids after the end of March.
However, there is a solution!
In an article written in Pain Concern, Dr Mick Serpell talks about the benefits of using amitriptyline instead of gabapentinioids for chronic pain.
Dr Serpell points out that amitriptyline has become the “gold standard” for nerve pain such as sciatica and is one of the most effective and best known drugs for this condition.
Amitriptyline works on the nervous system and helps to prevent pain messages being sent to the brain. It should be started at a low dose of one 10mg or 25mg tablet once a day – preferably at night, as it may make you feel a bit sleepy – and then gradually increasing each week up to an optimum dose in the region of 75mg per day.
You should start to see noticeable relief in 10 to 14 days with the maximum effect kicking in after 4 to 6 weeks. Around 5-15% of people may experience some mild side effects such as dry mouth, dizziness, drowsiness or constipation. It’s important that, if you experience any of these effects, you keep taking the amitriptyline as, in most cases they are harmless and will go away after a while.
Lastly Dr Serpell says that many of his patients have stayed on amitriptyline for years and say that it has transformed their lives
If you have any questions please contact our UK based Pharmacist on 01252 299044.